Winter pear charlotte with candied sweet chestnuts and Whisky custard.
Apple Charlotte is a classic pudding. Reputedly created for Queen Charlotte (Wife of King George III) in the 1700’s. This is an individual pudding made in a ‘timbale’ or ‘dariole mould’ using slices of white bread and stewed fruit. This is Autumns answer to summer pudding. Traditionally with apples however pears make an obvious and interesting alternative.
There are 2 pear seasons – summer and winter. Winter pears are so called because they need a period of time in cold storage before they ripen. Interestingly pears ripen from the inside out therefore if they are left to develop on the tree and picked when they are visibly ‘ripe’ their insides would be mushy. Therefore they are picked hard and ‘green’ and matured inside.
This custard is not made using custard powder and warm milk but a careful combination of egg yolks whisked with sugar, milk and double cream. Gently cooked so as not to scramble the eggs.
Making the sweet chestnuts takes time (a few days!) but is easy to do and well worth it. Thet could be replaced by walnuts or anything that provides a crunch.
Chefs note – this is definitely better as an individual dessert as it is more presentable and refined however it could be made in as a family sized pudding using a larger mould. ramekins would make a good replacement for dariole moulds but you may need more bread.